You get up at night to grab something from the kitchen, you turn on the light and what’s there? An unpleasant surprise! A cockroach! After just a glimpse, the sneaky little pest hurries back to its safe space away from your eyes. But unluckily, not too far away from you.

You’ll see cockroaches primarily at night because they’re nocturnal. They come out during the day only in case of an ongoing infestation. So where are they hiding most of the time? And how do you get rid of them?

Table of Contents:

What does a cockroach nest look like?

Cockroaches have the unsettling ability to flatten their bodies enough to fit even between a wallpaper and a wall. They produce a scent that attracts other roaches and they can all cram into one very tight space.

Around the nest, you can find eggshells (oothecae), dead roaches and droppings, and you’ll probably be able to smell it.

If you want more in-depth information, here is how to recognise the unmistakable signs of a cockroach infestation.


Where do cockroaches nest in your house?

Cockroaches love humid spaces, safe away from humans and close enough to food sources like dinner leftovers and other delicacies like sewage. It’s not uncommon for them to be hiding in plain sight.


The bathroom holds many hiding spots for these persistent pests. Medicine cabinets, the plumbing, behind the bath and sink, behind the tiles, just to name a few. The bathroom is a preferred place because it provides a good source of water and food (toilet paper, soap residue, hair) and it’s dark and moist most of the time. Cockroaches can use the drainage system to move around and even visit your neighbours.

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We can all agree that cockroaches in close proximity to where food is prepared needs to be avoided at all costs. What can their dwelling be in the kitchen?

  • Cupboards. Check the cupboards and cabinets for signs of cockroaches. They prefer undisturbed areas, so inspect every corner, including packages of food and dishes you haven’t used in a while.
  • Behind appliances. The big kitchen appliances provide an easy shelter – people usually don’t move them around and it’s hard to reach to clean behind them. The fridge and freezer generate the heat some types of cockroaches require, and behind the dishwasher they can find the so needed moisture.
  • In appliances. On the other hand, smaller kitchen appliances can also give shelter and food, even though on a much smaller scale. Such can be unused coffee machines, toasters, blenders and more.
Related article: How to Clean a Kitchen

Laundry rooms

Of course, any place that can provide warmth and a bit of water can be suitable for cockroaches to thrive. It seems like there isn’t a food source there, but remember that cockroaches can survive on things like cardboard boxes. They can move freely through the holes in the wall where the plumbing enters.


Basements stay undisturbed by people most of the time, so an infestation can form quickly there and without your knowledge. It’s spacious and provides various nesting spots – in cracks in the walls and ceiling, floor cavities, behind old unused furniture, inside boxes, you name it.

Cockroaches chew on newspapers, books and, as we already mentioned – cardboard. The longer the infestation has been around, the more noticeable the damages get.


The drain itself is not a place where the cockroaches usually make a nest unless it hasn’t been used for a long time. A garbage can under the bathroom or kitchen sink might be the reason why cockroaches dwell in and around the drain. There also might be crevices around where the downpipes go into the wall. You can opt-in for drain covers, but that just masks the problem without addressing the real one.


Cockroaches might be nesting outside your home and still come around to visit you in the house. Not all types of roaches like warmth, some prefer cooler temperatures, which helps them survive in a wider range of conditions. This means they can be hiding in garages, porches, pipe ducts, around rubbish cans and more.


How to get rid of a cockroach nest?

There are several steps to remove a cockroach nest and make sure the cockroaches don’t come back to your home.

  • Locate the nest. You can do that by inspecting your home as we explained above.
  • Destroy the nest. Clean everything up – egg cases, droppings, cockroaches skin, dead roaches. This step is important because the unpleasant smell that you might notice is actually a pheromone which attracts other cockroaches.
  • Seal all openings. To prevent this from happening all over again (and also from the cockroaches to return to the former nest) you need to seal cracks and cavities in the walls, floor and ceiling.
  • Fix leaking pipes. Cockroaches cannot survive without water. So no water means fewer roaches will see your home as suitable for their dwelling.
  • Leave baits around your home. Over-the-counter options come in granule, paste or dust form and they’re relatively easy to apply. Some of the options, like gels, are more preferred by parents and pet owners. Always read the labels and instructions before application.

All of these steps sound easy and straight forward, but the real battle is dealing with the live roaches that survived, not the nest itself. When the cockroaches scatter around, you risk to just chase them from one side of the home to the other.

Our suggestion is to find a professional pest control company which can inspect, exterminate and monitor the infestation. Exterminators have methods for dealing with different types of cockroaches and know what works. These persistent pests know how to hide and survive with little, so regular checks are necessary.

You can help by maintaining the overall cleanliness of the home and leave the treatment to the professionals.

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  • Inspect your home thoroughly. Focus on places that are left undisturbed for a prolonged period of time.
  • Limit the cockroaches’ exposure to food. No dinner leftovers on the table during the night.
  • Seal cracks. They can’t nest in if they can’t even come in.
  • Fix leaking pipes. Cockroaches cannot survive without water.
  • Place baits. Careful what baits you chose if you have children or pets. Follow the instructions.
  • Call your local exterminator. Nothing beats cockroaches like a professional treatment from a reputable pest control company. We happen to be such a company. Read here what we can offer you.
  • Last update: March 13, 2021

Posted in All Articles, Pest Issues